It has been a little while since we’ve had a “Netflix cancels beloved show” firestorm, but the streaming service has stumbled into infuriating another fanbase with the cancellation of Shadow and Bone and killing the hope for its spin-off, Six of Crows.
The move was announced alongside a string of other shows like Glamorous, Agent Elvis, Farzar and Captain Fall. The “impact of the strikes” is being cited as the reason, which resulted in a seven month production shutdown, but fans are not buying that explanation, and if it is true, they believe it’s still the studios’ fault for creating the conditions that led to the strikes in the first place.
Shadow and Bone author Leigh Bardugo shared that she was “heartbroken and deeply disappointed” about the cancelation. She penned a note on Instagram that confirmed there would be no season 3, nor a Six of Crows spin-off, ending the “Grishaverse” on Netflix. And of course, being a premature cancellation, there are any number of cliffhangers that will forever remain unresolved outside of the books, something fans are lamenting on social media.
To me, this is part of a pattern of Netflix cancelling YA-ish fantasy series, most often starring young women. We’ve seen this time and time again with series like First Kill, Cursed, The Society, The Order, Fate: The Winx Saga, Warrior Nun and plenty more. And I would argue that Shadow and Bone is a really good series compared to many others, a genuinely great addition to Netflix’s library. But now it will be yet another part of the service’s graveyard of unfinished series. There are so many of these that have been killed early yet remain in the library to be discovered by future viewers who will again be disappointed that it simply ends without resolution.
Naturally, there have already been calls for some other streaming service to save Shadow and Bone. But given the climate of the streaming industry right now where everyone is trying to get out of mountains of debt and slash costs, it seems very unlikely. Shadow and Bone was likely canceled in the first place as a decently expensive series with a lot of VFX work, and unless you have enormous viewership numbers, Netflix will say you don’t justify that price.
Of course, fans are perfectly justified in being upset. It’s terrible to go from the hope that you’d get both a season 3 and a much-requested spin-off to neither, and everything’s just dead. And blaming the strikes doesn’t help anything. We’ll stay tuned for any more developments about it being shopped around, but in the current state of the industry, I wouldn’t hold your breath.